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August 2017

Free Market Healthcare?

Hi Everybody,

As long as the future of Obamacare is still undecided, we still have time to discuss alternatives. The debate thus far appears to center on how much government subsidies should be included in the final package. Today we look again at how much government involvement is necessary (rather than how much can we afford) to achieve our national goals. With a $20 trillion national debt, a “government lite” approach seems to be in order.

So, let’s look again at what a truly free market healthcare system might really look like — without the hang-ups of past assumptions.

(This column is edited from a version originally published on January 6, 2017. Unfortunately, we haven’t progressed very far since then. )

As always, comments welcome. Thank you for your support.

Larry Fedewa

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What a free-market health care system could look like

By Lawrence J. Fedewa – – Friday, January 6, 2017

As long as we are repealing and replacing Obamacare, the starting point should be setting our goals. American health care should be:

1, High quality, state-of-the-art
2. Available to all — which means
• Affordable
• Abundant
• Well-funded

What are the principal obstacles to these goals?

a. The first and most obvious obstacle is the shortage of medical personnel. This shortage has two facets: not enough medical professionals are produced in the first place, and of those who do enter practice too many drop out before their time. There are whole areas of inner cities and rural America, for example, which have no physicians at all. Why? Because our medical schools do not graduate enough doctors to serve the population of the United States. Why not? Lack of intelligent students? Lack of students who are motivated to give their lives in service to their fellow man? Not at all.

The reason is lack of money

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President pulls right, Pope Francis pulls left

 

FILE – In this May 24, 2017, file photo. U.S. President Donald Trump stands with Pope Francis during a meeting at the Vatican. Some evangelical supporters of Trump are seeking a meeting with Pope Francis over a recent critical article

Is Pope Francis I attacking American Christians? Steve Bannon targeted with ‘apocalyptic geopolitics’

By Lawrence Fedewa – – Friday, August 11, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

A controversial article in La Civiltà Cattolica, a Vatican-approved publication, by editor-in-chief Jesuit Fr. Antonio Spadaro and Marcelo Figueroa, an Argentine Presbyterian pastor who leads his country’s edition of the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, has attacked the American Christians who supported Donald Trump for the American presidency.

Singled out for special opposition are the so-called “conservative” Catholics and the evangelical Christians and their alleged representative in the White House, Steve Bannon. Mr. Bannon is accused of advocating an “apocalyptic geopolitics.”

Taken by itself, the article is long, confusing, wildly inaccurate in its interpretation of American Christianity, and an unremarkable critique by uninformed foreigners of a “straw man,” that is, an opponent created by the authors for the purpose of attacking it (not unlike the “fake news” of America’s media stories).

What gives the article importance is the presumed association with Pope Francis I. Although the Pope has not commented publicly on the article, the publication is published by the Jesuits, the Pope’s religious order, sponsored by the Vatican, and the authors are well-known associates of the Pope. At several points in the text, Pope Francis’ positions are cited as differing from those of the supposed opposition. This context strongly suggests that this article speaks for the Pope. If so, it speaks poorly for the Pope.

In summary, the essence of the piece seems to be that conservative Catholics and evangelical Protestants have formed a political alliance in the United States to create a theocracy, based on an Old Testament-oriented, fundamentalist ideology, which seeks to establish the literal interpretation of the Bible as the basis of American law. Adherents to this view are called “value voters.” As their means of promoting this view, they are full of “gloom and doom” scenarios about threats to the “American way of life.” The need for drastic changes is therefore urgent. It is not surprising that the authors liken this movement to the jihad of radical Islam. To top off their point of view, they describe the vehicle for this domination of American life as the Trump administration.

They contrast this terrifying threat of apocalypse with traditional Catholic (and biblical) belief that the Kingdom of God is not of this world. Here they are a little ambiguous (to say the least) because the Bible clearly sequences the Last Judgement as part of the apocalypse. Nevertheless, the authors accuse their opponents of seeking a “heaven on earth” which can only be achieved by winning the “war of religions.” The true Christian message is to treat everyone with love as preached by Pope Francis, “Love not war!” How all this ties together is not made clear by the authors..

What to make of all this?

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The Death of Democracy and “We the People”

By Colonel George Seiler, USAF (ret.), Ph.D., (Thursday, August 10, 2017)

We have elections to let the people, the US citizens, voice their opinion in the form of a vote.  For many years I have professed that we overthrow the current government with ballots, and not bullets.  The US was one of the few countries where the loser did not have to get out of town.  The loser could even still display the bumper sticker of his losing candidate, and not worry about his windows getting shattered, or his car burned and vandalized.  It was OK to express your opinion, and after the election, the two parties blended together to make America flourish, make a better life for the kids and grandkids, expand the family living quarters, save up for a new car, or college. Become a journeyman at a trade, like electrician, HVAC, auto maintenance, new buildings, new roads and bridges. Politics was at least 2 years away, and the Presidential election was 4 years away.

In the interim, people respected the office of the President.  It was taught in our schools to do so.  We rallied for or against policy, legislation bills, changes in treaties, new treaties, American involvement on the world front to keep us safe.

But in 2016/2017 something appalling happened.  Keep Reading